Get to Know Guy's Grocery Games Judge Madison Cowan
Chef and TV personality Madison Cowan's claim to fame came when he became the first-ever Chopped Grand Champion. But this suave-spoken Brit has been cooking since the age of 14, so he knows his stuff. He got his big break working at Tavern on the Green in New York City under the tutelage of Patrick Clark. He's active in first lady Michelle Obama's Chefs Move to Schools initiative, and he also runs a private catering and events company, Avenue Inc. Madison currently serves as a judge on Guy's Grocery Games, and he's even a competitor on the All-Stars special.
Get to know this Triple G judge, and tune in to watch Madison on Guy's Grocery Games on Sundays at 8|7c.
Do you prefer shopping in a small market or a supermarket?
Madison Cowan: I fancy small markets/shops. It's the coziness, intimacy and personal service. Larger shops are cool as well. I prefer Fairway and Trader Joe's to Whole Foods.
Do you prefer self-checkout, online ordering or a real person?
MC: I think I've used self-checkout at CVS once — my daughter had to sort it out for me. I've ordered American items online from Panzer's in London a few years back.
Is there one thing you can't leave a grocery store without?
MC: Definitely cheese. But then you'll need bread — and fruit or a good jam of course.
What's the one thing you love/hate most about grocery shopping?
MC: Listen, I'm just happy I can afford to shop at all.
Give me five ingredients or less in coming up with your best dish.
MC: Maybe okra, buttermilk, eggs, panko and grapeseed oil. My family loves okra katsu with remoulade.
MC: I just like to see that lot run around with their trolleys.
MC: My stepmom's fried perch (or salt pork) with creamed sweet corn, salad and homemade lemonade, which was just fresh-squeezed lemons, water and sugar. Brings tears to my eyes even now.
MC: I'd hope very much not to know, thank you. Don't think I'd enjoy it.
What's the most-surprising or oddest thing we'd find in your fridge, food or otherwise?
MC: My wife's pickled herring in mustard cream sauce with beetroot. Period.
Where do you see dining trends going? Do you have one you absolutely love or hate?
MC: I don't follow trends, food or otherwise. But I said to someone two years ago squirrel will become the new pork belly, and sure enough it's now on menus in London.
Quickfire (Name the first thing that comes to mind):
Favorite condiment: 1. Kewpie mayo. 1a. Dijon mustard.
Favorite ice cream flavor: Edy's Peanut Butter Cup
Favorite kitchen tool: Tongs, fish slice, rubber spatula and Microplane zester — can't do just one
Favorite sweet or dessert: Cobbler/pie by far, peach and cherry particularly
Tune in to Guy's Grocery Games on Sundays at 8|7c.